Packaging firm DS Smith has reported a 5% rise in annual profit, bolstered by growing demand from e-commerce and consumer goods customers, but the company said it was too early to resume dividends in the short-term due to the pandemic.
“We have made good strategic and financial progress in the year, with the disposal of our Plastics division reinforcing our focus on sustainable fibre-based packaging and our strong commercial focus driving record margin," commented Miles Roberts, DS Smith's chief executive.
The company said the COVID-19 crisis had a £15 million impact in the last two months of its financial year as box volumes declined and industrial customers remained weak.
The company, which makes cardboard boxes and recycled paper, reported an adjusted operating profit of £660 million, up from £631 million last year.
"Our business model is resilient, built on our consistent FMCG and e-commerce customer base," Roberts added. "In the short term, however, the impact of COVID-19 on the economies in which we operate is likely to impact volumes to industrial customers and add to operating costs.
"In particular, infrastructure constraints have driven elevated OCC prices, although we currently expect the impact to be limited to H1."